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Friday, May 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Presidential Yacht Case Sails On in Delaware

(CN) - A would-be buyer of the presidential yacht Sequoia says that the current owners should not get a restraining order after refiling previously dismissed claims.

The Sequoia, built in 1925, served every president from Herbert Hoover to Jimmy Carter, who sold it in a symbolic gesture of government thrift. Congress designated it as a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

Its current owners, the Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group and Washington, D.C.-based attorney Gary Silversmith, sued FE Partners LLC in New York County Supreme Court in January.

The complaint accused FE Partners of a "dastardly plan to wrest control" of the iconic yacht.

FE director Michael Cantor countered with an affidavit stating that Silversmith neglected hundreds of thousands of dollars of debts, mistreated his crew and appeared to blackmail one of his debtors.

Cantor submitted reams of emails that purportedly substantiate the allegations, but a judge booted the case after finding that New York lacked jurisdiction.

Sequoia and Silversmith refiled their suit in Delaware Chancery Court, leading Cantor to file a new affidavit last week.

FE's forensic accountants have found that Silversmith and Sequoia "appear to have concealed more than $10 million of potential shore-based contingent liabilities," according to the affidavit.

Tabulated by the firm Pepper Hamilton LLP, the bulk of the alleged debts and liabilities involve "failure to collect, file and pay DC sales tax," "failure to file and pay DC property tax" and "failure to comply with DC laws related to the sale of alcohol," the affidavit continues.

A lawyer for Sequoia and Silversmith did not return a request for comment.

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